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Board Structure

The effective operation of a museum is based on a well-functioning board that has a strong working relationship with the museum’s director. The board’s structure and composition help it fulfill its role and live up to the community’s expectations.

The Alliance has compiled this set of board structure resources from amongst its own offerings as well as those throughout the nonprofit and museum sector.

Alliance Resources

Composition of the Governing Authority

The Alliance shares standards on the composition, roles, and responsibilities of boards.

Immortal Life of a Board Member
This handout from the Alliance’s 2013 Annual Meeting shares information on the three areas of a board member’s lifecycle: recruitment and onboarding; motivation and engagement; and evaluations and legacy. The handout provides insight on how boards handle recruiting and cultivation, the qualities of successful trustees and high impact governance and sample board survey questions.

Museum Board Leadership 2017: A National Report

The Museum Board Leadership Report grades boards on a wide variety of policies, practices, and performance. The survey was conducted in partnership with BoardSource and Northern Trust.

Other Resources

Nonprofit Law Basics: Can the Executive Director Serve on the Board of Directors?

This blog post from the Cullinane Law Group discusses the potential conflict of interest involved if the executive director or CEO serves as a voting member of the board.

Should Your Nonprofit CEO/ED Be on the Board?

Boardable posted this blog post in 2019 on whether or not the CEO should be a voting member of the board of directors/trustees.

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